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Kids Are Eating Way Too Much Fried Fast Food

Apparently, the strategy fast-food restaurants are using -- placing their locations near public schools -- is working to perfection. American children are eating more fried foods from fast-food restaurants than ever, according to a Harvard University study.

The lowlights, based on a survey of more than 14,000 American children between ages 9-14 for three years:

  • Over the course of the three-year study, the number of girls and boys who ate up to seven servings of fried foods from fast-food restaurants more than doubled.
  • Boys ate out more often than girls (attributed to their participation in sports).
  • The average body mass index (BMI) for boys who ate out more often was slightly higher (19.3) than those who didn't (19.0).

So, if kids are eating more meals outside the home, researchers say, they're likely drinking more calories in the form of sweetened soft drinks and not nearly enough fresh fruit and vegetables. Scientists also acknowledged the other key issue raising BMIs: A lack of proper meal planning leading to quick decisions and bad nutritional choices.

If you aren't sure about the threat of childhood obesity in your home, I urge you to review the seven risk factors cited in a recent British Medical Journal study and take action soon.

Pediatrics, Vol. 116, No. 4, October 2005: 518-522 Free Full-Text Article

Yahoo News October 3, 2005

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